By: Christian Helmig
As so often with stage races, the Cascade Cycling Classic kicked off with a prologue. Those short but very intense efforts don’t necessarily determine the outcome of the a stage race but they set the stage for what is to come and establish an initial order in the peleton.
Last year’s prologue had been a short but very technical course here in Bend which suited us guys at ELBOWZ Racing perfectly so we were all a little disappointed when we found out that the location had changed this year. Instead of the twisty out and back course from last year this one was a 2.8 mile loop with barely any technical challenge but plenty of opportunities to put your head down and go as hard as you can. I am not a big fan of such efforts – you spend all day getting ready for 5 minutes of intense pain… You need to focus and keep fighting against yourself to keep going as hard as you can and push through the pain.
Nevertheless I can usually hold my own but today I had a really hard time getting through the prologue. Despite warming up well I could never settle in and just couldn’t go as deep as I had hoped. Needless to say the result wasn’t too great. The other guys at ELBOWZ had a better ride and fortunately everything is still pretty close together so we live to fight another day. Let’s hope that the climbing in stage 1 suits us a little better than the flat drags from the prologue. We’ll find out tomorrow.